by Sitara Noor
23 May 2017
This article originally appeared in The Express Tribune, Opinion section.
The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the VCDNP.
During the first two weeks of May, delegates from 188 state parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) gathered in Vienna for a preparatory committee meeting (PrepCom), marking the beginning of the process for the 2020 NPT Review Conference (RevCon). The PrepCom cycle, which starts three years prior to each RevCon, is significant as it aims to develop a substantive agenda and set the tone for the issues to be discussed at the RevCon, which takes place every five years.
While the smooth conduct of discussions during the PrepCom was appreciated by many member states, one could see a conspicuous effort to conceal the simmering tensions over the ban issue in the room.
Some fireworks had also been expected on the issue of the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. However, the PrepCom only exposed deep fissures among the Arab league states, who were unable to agree on a joint way forward.